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What is an Irrevocable Trust?

Trusts That Can't Be Changed, Or Can They?


An Irrevocable Trust is one that by its design can't be amended, modified, changed or revoked. In other words, once an Irrevocable Trust has been created, the written terms of the trust agreement are generally written in stone and can't be tweaked for any reason in the future. However, refer to the following article to determine if one of the limited circumstances under which an Irrevocable Trust can be modified applies to your situation: Can an Irrevocable Trust Be Changed?

Types of Irrevocable Trusts

Irrevocable Trusts come in two forms:

  1. Irrevocable Living Trusts - This type of Irrevocable Trust, also called an Inter Vivos Irrevocable Trust, is created and funded by a living Trustmaker. Examples: Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts; lifetime gifting trusts such as Qualified Personal Residence Trusts, Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRAT for short), and Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (SLAT for short); and lifetime charitable trusts such as Charitable Remainder Trusts and Charitable Lead Trusts.

  2. Testamentary Trusts - Virtually all testamentary trusts are irrevocable. Why? Because a testamentary trust is one that's created and funded after someone's death, so no one who is living has the legal authority or ability to change the terms of a testamentary trust.

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